Subscribe Today!

And now a word about something old


Post by Gerard Brown


This has nothing to do with anything y’all have been talking about, as interesting as it all has been….

But could someone (preferably an artist with real thoughts on the subject) please explain the allure of the old to me? At an artists’ talk at Vox this evening, listeners were treated to rapturous soliloquies on the merits of “old” pornography and “old” video games[image of Atari joystick]…is there something inherently corrupt about the SIMS that no one is telling me about? Should I only visit vintage porn sites if I’m really arty in Philadelphia?


Part of what I’m getting at (f you haven’t noticed) is whether historical distance is a signifier of authenticity that can be – at the end of the day – trusted. Is making art from contemporary porn (in the manner of late 90’s Jeff Koons–[image is one of Koons’s “Made in Heaven” sculptures from 1990) inherently less interesting? Is the Atari version of Space invaders somehow innately more compelling than Super Mario or Lara Croft (see Miltos Manetas for an argument on this subject)?

Help! I await y’all’s thoughts…

many thanks,

Gerard Brown is a Philadelphia artist and writer who teaches at University of the Arts